Research Programs

Wireless Networking

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The RP is aimed at fostering high quality theoretical, methodological and experimental research in wireless network systems, architectures, protocols and devices and at teaching advanced topics on wireless networking, antennas, modern wireless communications and radar techniques.

The core of the research and technology transfer activity is devoted to the development of innovative methodologies and techniques for the complete and joint design and realization of cognitive and smart radio systems and networks, wireless sensor networks, green wireless networks, wireless mesh networks, narrow-band and ultra-wideband imaging and communication architectures, and radar systems.

Research Areas

The Research Program embraces several interdisciplinary research areas, ranging from wireless communications and networking to wireless power transmission and energy efficiency, to radar and non-invasive sensing and vision through electromagnetic techniques. The physical layer wireless transmission and reception are jointly studies with those related to communications such as representation of information, modulation and coding, and networking.

Practical design and analysis strategies based on meta-heuristic optimization methodologies and advanced resolution approaches, such as hybrid (deterministic and stochastic) techniques, learning-by-example strategies, interval analysis, and compressive sensing are explored for solving optimization problems concerned with wireless systems and networks, including:

  • design and prototyping of smart antennas and arrays integrating reconfigurable devices with signal processing strategies to experience radiating systems able to self-adapt to complex scenarios;
  • array beam-forming for multi-functional radar, wireless communications, and wireless power transmission applications;
  • engineered material and meta-material design for radio frequency and optics devices to be used in next generation communications and remote sensing systems;
  • space, time, and frequency diversity transmissions systems, multicarrier modulations, and multi-user receivers based on non-conventional techniques;
  • cooperative communications in the LTE and LTE-A framework, virtual MIMO and massive MIMO techniques; 
  • wireless backhauling of LTE-A small cells;
  • reconfigurable terminals based on Software-Defined-Radio (SDR) technologies;
  • broadband satellite transmission in the mm-wave frequency bands (Q-V band, W-band); 
  • synthesis of miniaturized, multi-standard, ultra-wideband (UWB), and MIMO antennas pursuing a cross-layer approach for studying the new opportunities provided by cognitive radio interfaces, software defined radio and UWB communications;
  • design of static and mobile (robot) sensor networks and smart devices for developing advanced sensor web technologies. Tools are being developed to optimally design wireless networks in complex environments;
  • study of the physics of the propagation through stochastic approaches and numerical methods based on ray-tracing techniques for the characterization of wireless channels for electromagnetic planning;
  • exploitation of the challenging possibilities offered by wireless technologies for the diagnostics of material anomalies. We investigate new imaging methodologies bases on narrow band and UWB systems in a variety of contexts such as subsurface prospecting, medical diagnosis, non-destructive testing.

Performance-oriented and energy efficient design is the vertical approach in the study, development and testing of novel technologies crossing all layers of the TCP/IP protocol stack. Specific activities and know-how include:

  • network modeling and design, through analytical tools and simulation;
  • wireless networking, both in infrastructure and ad-hoc configuration. Emphasis is given to performance improvement and congestion control by means of cross-layer design and joint optimization of existing wireless network standards (WiFi, WIMAX, 3G, LTE, 4G);
  • green networking, encompassing both wired and wireless networks with the idea to design the next-generation Green Internet paradigm. In particular, green wireless networking is aimed at introducing cross-layer optimization and cognitivity to reduce energy consumption, while wired energy efficiency is being explored for cloud computing;
  • cognitive radios and networks, where proper technologies are explored for learning, reasoning and adaptation of network configuration;
  • communications systems modeling and integration. This activity is extremely interdisciplinary, including modeling and performance evaluation of smart grids and vehicular communications.

Application Areas

The activities of the Research Program cover several application areas in the framework of wireless networking regarding well-established research topics as well as advanced and frontier ones with main emphasis on:

Radiating Systems: Next generation wireless communications (smart antennas, multiband and wideband antennas, 4G/5G radio planning), space (sparse array synthesis, thinned arrays, multifunction arrays), smart, green, and integrated transport (radar architectures and algorithms), metamaterial engineering;

Energy Transmission and Smart Grids: Secure, clean, and efficient energy (smart electrical grids, wireless energy transmission, energy efficiency and power management);

Pervasive Sensing and Monitoring: Security (cooperative robotics, crowd tracking), sustainable agriculture and the bio-economy (water management, distributed monitoring and actuation), climate action and environment;

Localization and Tracking: Security (crowd tracking, localization, through-the-wall imaging), biotechnologies, health, and wellbeing (healthcare monitoring and tracking), climate action and environment;

Imaging and Inverse Problems: Security (subsurface imaging and detection), biotechnologies, health, and wellbeing (biomedical imaging), sustainable agriculture and the bio-economy (distributed monitoring and actuation), next generation wireless communications (4G/5G troubleshooting, DoA estimation);

Networking and System Integration: smart grids and energy management, M2M communications, and user- and service-oriented communications infrastructures, 4G and beyond small-cell networking, integration of terrestrial and satellite infrastructures for global ubiquitous networking, emergency communications.


Faculty Members

Massimo DonelliFabrizio GranelliAndrea Massa
Giacomo OliveriPaolo Rocca (Coord)

Further Information

Technical reports of Research Program
Published papers of Research Program